Scholarship Tips and Tricks


Getty Images/iStockphoto

Student loan color icon. Credit to pay for university education. Tuition fee. College scolarship. Graduation hat, coin stack. Budget investment. Academic achievement. Isolated vector illustration

Ashlyn Hammel, Graphic Design Editor

As seniors prepare to leave for college soon, they are on the hunt for scholarships. 

One misconception about scholarships is that the only way to earn one is through scoring a 25 or above on the ACT. But, there are many other ways to get scholarships. 

Student athletes have an opportunity to get scholarships for playing their sport in college. Some students are able to get a full-ride to their dream college through scholarships for sports. 

Something to keep in mind when applying for scholarships is that some require a certain GPA. For example, the Microsoft Scholarship Program requires a 3.6-4.0 GPA while the Angel Scholarship only requires a GPA of 1.0-2.0. However, the Education Matters 5k Scholarship does not have GPA requirements. 

For almost every scholarship students must apply with an essay. In that essay applicants will include contact information, why they are applying, any major accomplishments, what career and education they are interested in, and list unique skills or personality traits. I recommend reading the scholarship requirements before applying to make sure students fit the criteria. 

One of the most important elements of applying for scholarships is letters of recommendations. I recommend asking a current teacher at school or manager at work. 

Also, applicants should have two to three people edit their essay before sending it in to the scholarship companies. 

While many people know community service is helpful for getting scholarships, not many people know that being involved in clubs at school is another key factor. This is important because the people examining applications look for leadership skills along with communication skills. 

Nowadays, fewer colleges are requiring a high ACT score or other high standardized test scores. During COVID-19 students were not allowed to take the ACT because social distancing would have been difficult to maintain and students might have been exposed to the virus. Ever since then, colleges seem to be reaching the realization that test scores do not define students’ academic ability. 

During this time of searching for scholarships, students should remember to be themselves and the scholarship companies will value that authenticity. All in all, seniors should start now if they are thinking about getting scholarships.